following the controversy surrounding allegations of russian interference in last year's us presidential election. a he told a news conference in washington that he respected the brazilian president, michel temer has said he won't resign over allegations that he was involved in bribing a possible witness to a huge corruption scandal. mr temer said he would prove his innocence and warned that his efforts to pull the economy out of recession were at risk. a driver has ploughed into pedestrians in times square killing one woman and injuring nearly two dozen others. the driver has been arrested but authorities say there is no sign of terrorism — instead he is being tested for drugs and alcohol. a former television producer has been convicted of trying to hire three men to kill his partner. the old bailey heard that david harris, who's 68 and from amberley in west sussex, had wanted to be rid of hazel allison so that he could inherit herfortune
and then live with his 28—year—old girlfriend. our correspondent duncan kennedy reports. for 30 years david harris and hazel allenson were partners but harris had a secret, ugne cekaviciute, a woman he'd met in a brothel — but he couldn't afford to wine and dine her, so harris tried to trick, not one, not two, but three innocent men into becoming hitmen. his aim was to get rid of hazel and get his hands on their £800,000 house here in west sussex. harris on the left was secretly recorded by one of the so—called hitmen who was alarmed by the plan. i mean whatever happens, the £150 grand is there, that's yours. 0bviously whatever happens it will look like an accident or a mugging gone wrong or something. another of the supposed hitmen was duke dean, who met harris in london.
dean said he couldn't believe what harris wanted and went to the police. did you get the impression he was serious about getting rid of hazel? he was stone serious about that. that's what he wanted? that's what he wanted. harris told police he was researching a hitman novel, like day of the jackal and wanted to meet a real hitman. but the police say the book didn't exist. this was a man who in fact was a very manipulative, conniving and ruthless individual. detectives say harris was driven by greed and lust but thankfully failed three times to kill the woman he had spent his life with. duncan kennedy, bbc news. now on bbc news, hardtalk. welcome to hardtalk, i'm stephen sackur. every day venezuela seems to get one step closer to economic and political chaos.
mass anti—government protests have swept the country for the past month. close to a0 people have been killed in clashes with president maduro‘s armed enforcers. the shops are short of food, hospitals low on medicine, something it seems, has got to give. my guest isjulio borges, speaker of the opposition—controlled national assembly. is the chavista socialist revolution dying on its feet? julio borges, in caracas, welcome to hardtalk. thank you, stephen. we have seen more than a0 days
of mass protests on the streets and we see the violent clashes between protesters and the armed enforcers of president maduro and we see the casualties, many injured and around a0 people, many of them very young, killed. how long can this go on? well, listen, it is not only a5 days, we have been fighting for 18 years and a5 days. and we are fighting for democracy in venezuela and that is the reason people are on the streets. they are making huge demonstrations, not only in caracas, but all over venezuela. unfortunately, the answer from the government has been repression. yesterday, two people were killed, very young, 16 years and 33 years. every day we have the same routine of repression and violence
and it is very important for you to know that we are fighting in the streets, just for democracy, just for trying to get a democratic pass in order to get free elections in venezuela. free elections that are not planned in our constitutions, but maduro denies the right to the people to vote in elections, so we have only the streets as a space to fight for our rights and democratic rights in venezuela. as a responsible political leader and you are the president of the national assembly, you're one of the leaders of the justice first party, do you not have a responsibility at some point, when you look at the bloodshed and you point out, many of the people who have lost their lives are students, they are young people. do you not have a responsibility to say to the protesters, in your own party and far beyond your own party, enough is enough? the bloodshed, the cost, it is too high? yes, but our responsibility
is to bring peace, democracy and freedom to venezuela. we are living in a venezuela which is like a bad copy of cuba. there are no rights in venezuela, there is no food, there is no medicines, there is no opportunities. thousands and thousands of young people are leaving venezuela in order to look for a future in other countries. so, it is not only a political confrontation in venezuela, it is a vital, existential, based on values, confrontation in venezuela. if you see the people who are demonstrating in the streets, we see every kind of people, young people, old people, politicians, social activists, unemployed people. so it's all venezuelan people against maduro. it's not only a political confrontation. do you really think that these protests are going to get maduro out of power?
that is the call from the protesters. he has got to go, they say, but there is absolutely no sign of him going anywhere. well, we are fighting for some values. we have no time and no other way to fight for. freedom, justice, democracy — you have to remember, steve, that the only thing they have is ordering the coup d'etat that maduro gave to the parliament. they almost closed all the parliament, and the venezuelan people went to the streets in order to defend democracy and to defend separation of powers, and to defend their rights to vote and to defend their rights to have a free economy. so we have a very deep fight in venezuela, and when you face a government that has no intention to open for a democratic agenda, so, for venezuelan people, there is no other way, than to fight in the streets.
and people are willing, and with emotion, to fight for their countries. but venezuelans also have a sense of history, and they know that in 201a, very soon after maduro came to power, hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets to try and get him out, claiming that that election was illegitimate. he faced down the protesters and he won that battle. and then we can fast—forward to last year, when you and many colleagues demanded a recall election. and again, you believed that you could bring maduro to his knees. but he outlasted you again, and i would put it to you that there is every sign this time around that maduro is going to outlast you yet again. yeah, but we are taking some good advantage. the international community has a very clear and very needed view about maduro as a dictatorship. venezuelan people have a very strong position. it's not a minority,
but a huge majority, almost 80%, 85% of the people, who are completely sure that maduro will have to be out of power, because he did a coup d'etat in venezuela. julio borges, you know that in democracies, you do not run governments by opinion poll, you run them by elections. and let us not forget that nicolas maduro, whether you like it or not, he has an elected mandate. he won the presidential election after hugo chavez died at the end of 2013. he is due to be, according to his mandate, president of venezuela until the very end of 2018. that is the mandate. yes — no, but listen. you have to rule the country by one constitution, and the constitution said that last year we had to have governors‘ elections, and maduro didn't want to make it. we should have a recall referendum, and maduro stopped it.
this year, we should have had the regional elections and maduro stopped them. so, it cannot be one constitution for maduro and one constitution for the venezuelan people. that's it, the core of the problem. right now in venezuela, we have no constitution at all, and we only have the will of maduro, and he decides whether we have elections or not in venezuela. this is not fair, it is not democracy, and we are fighting precisely, steve, for having a democratic path, which is elections in venezuela. so we are fighting for trying to bring the constitution out for our political life. we are trying to fight within the constitution. this is a huge difference. we are calling for democracy, maduro is calling for violence. well, maduro says that you, in particular, and he identified you as an individual, julio borges, he said that you are the coup master, and what you
really want is a coup. and i have to say, looking at some of your comments of late, one of your comments saying it is time for the men in green, that is the armed forces, to, quote, break their silence. are you suggesting, implicitly, that you want to see the security forces, in particular the army of venezuela, refuse to follow orders? well, we are calling to the army force in venezuela to precisely help venezuelan people, not opposition, to help venezuelan people to have the rule of constitution and democracy in venezuela. let me tell you again... well, forgive me, but the armed forces are supposed to follow the orders of the commander in chief, the president of the country. i do not see how it is being constitutional to imply that you want to see all of the armed forces of venezuela mutiny, which appears to be what you are suggesting to happen. no, because there is a huge
difference, steve, between a chief commander which is acting as the head of the venezuelan government, with maduro, who is acting and delivering orders to the armed forces as the head of a political party. what we don't want is an army force with political colours, which is part or belongs to a political party. that's the real problem. we want independent institutional and democratic army force. that's the core of the problem. we are calling for an army force, not for opposition. we are calling for an army force to respond to democratic institutions in venezuela, not political parties. the one who has colour with political parties has been maduro. all right. a very simple question for you, yes or no. are you asking for the armed forces on the streets, policing the demonstrations, and of course sometimes opening fire, we have seen that, are you asking those armed forces
to refuse to follow orders? absolutely. i think that to fight against human rights, it has to be called, in order to operate in the consciousness of each guardian that it's breaking the human rights of the venezuelans. and there is no way that you, steve, can justify that an undemocratic government can make such a demonstration of violence against the people, when people are demonstrating in a very pacific way, just for asking for elections in venezuela. there is no proportion of people, a people who is young people demonstrating for a peaceful solution, which is owed, and repression from the government, against their human rights. even putting people under the jurisdiction of the military, which is against the constitution, is against human rights.
so we have to ask for consciousness, for fighting for our human rights in venezuela, and not for repression. well, the problem you have is that you have a track record, and of course maduro and the people in the government constantly refer to it. you're known as someone who supported the attempted military coup against hugo chavez in 2002, and we know from leaks in wikipedia that appeared in the years afterwards, that your party had very close ties to the united states, and that there appeared to be hundreds of thousands, if not millions of us dollars that were funnelled into your party from ngos that were funded by the united states. so there are many people in the regime who say that you are nothing more than an agent of the united states, the imperial power. that's propaganda, and this is very easy to demonstrate, steve. let's go to an election and let the people decide if i am an agent of the imperial power, or i represent some
leadership in venezuela. so it's very easy to demonstrate that you have to provide people the opportunity through the vote to decide which future they want in venezuela, and i'm absolutely sure that the political movement that we have created, with so many young leaders in venezuela, is right now the choice, the future, to decide what venezuela wants, for a modern venezuela. so it's very easy. let the people vote and let the people decide which future they want. the person who is refusing that is maduro. on may the 5th, i believe, you had a meeting with vice president mike pence and i think you also met with the national security adviser hr mcmaster. did you ask them for american help, and specifically did you ask them to go beyond targeted sanctions on individuals and impose economic sanctions on venezuela has a whole?
not at all. impossible. we are building, in north america, and mainly in latin america, a kind of group or team of countries which can help venezuela in this crisis. we have talked with the president of panama, we have talked with the president of peru, argentina, brazil, chile, mexico and all of them are really worried about venezuela for one reason — venezuela is not only a local problem, right now, it is a regional problem and we are asking for the help of the community, of the latin american community, in order to try and bring and build a democratic agenda right here in venezuela and the chief aim of this agenda is letting people vote. this is very clear, there is no other way of letting people vote in order to build a solution. the thing is, you have talked throughout this interview as though
the opposition is united, the trouble is that the opposition is nowhere near united, there are 21 different opposition parties, you have a history of being divided, you individually have had fights with other opposition leaders, frankly, often times, the venezuelan opposition, has been fighting amongst itself like rats in a sack. so why would the outside world or indeed the venezuelan people take seriously this proposition that if you were to get an election and a few in the short—term opposition alliance against maduro were to win, that you could actually govern coherently, because you're so disunited? well, sorry, but that is not true, steve. i am the president of the parliament and the president of the party and i am the head of a coalition, which has 1a political parties within the coalition. what we have realised is unity, that is something we are very proud of that. there is no election in venezuela in which we have presented two candidates, only one candidate
from the opposition, versus one candidate from the government. we have only our unique platform. we have only one message in the campaigns, we have a system of rule for election by referendum and the priority of candidates. we have a strong position. i understand that you only put up one candidate against maduro and you insisted you have one message which is that there must be elections and maduro must go, but that is not good enough. you have been telling me that the venezuelan people are suffering, the shops are empty, the hospitals have no drugs, the economic system is broken and yet when i look at what you are putting forward, you're not telling the venezuelan people how you would solve the crisis they are living through. you do not have a coherent platform and many of your parties have very different visions of what you would do with the chavista socialist
system. listen, steve, the way we are living in venezuela is a tragedy. so, it is not that we are facing a bad government, a regular bad government as you would have in any country. we are living in a real tragedy, people are dying because they are hungry, people are dying because they have no medicines, people are in the streets eating from the garbage and we are living in what is one of the most richest countries in the world. so, what we have in venezuela is a pre—ideological problem. we have to fight not for very fancy public policies, we have to fight for a government who gives us democracy, a government that has checks and balance, the rule of law, and in all this, we are very united, not only as an opposition, but as a people, as venezuela. there is no problem with that, because we are living
in such a tragedy. but with the greatest of respect, i havejust, as you know, been in venezuela and i have spoken to a lot of people in different parts of the country, and in different economic situations, from the rather posh suburb where you happen to live, to some of the poorest slums where some of the most loyal die—ha rd chavistas lives. the impression i get is that many people are very alienated from maduro, but there is still a hard core of support for chavismo, for the idea of a socialist bolivarian revolution, and if you get rid of maduro, it seems to me that there is a real risk of civil strife, maybe full—scale civil war in venezuela. are you prepared to run that risk? well, i do not agree with that picture. first of all, steve, chavista live in the most riches, urbanisation and other portions of the city. i am not talking about the members
of the government, i am talking about ordinary people, some of whom do believe that hugo chavez is the reason that they can afford some sort of an accommodation, have a job, have a better economic existence than they had when your class was in power in venezuela in the 19805 and early 1990s. at that time, i was 20 years old. sorry. but i can tell you something, these people, right now, they know that maduro has destroyed what they praised for chavez. right now, the chavista and maduro bases are only 10% or 12% of the population. and we know that we can have a future in the government and we can bring those people for a new venezuela and a very united venezuela. i do not see at all any problem or chance of confrontation, because there is no symmetrical proportions, because there is almost a very unanimous position against maduro, we are talking 90% of the population is against maduro.
it is not half of the population, it's 90% of the population, so i do not see any risk of having a democratic path and having a very inclusive, you are right on that, a very inclusive speech and very inclusive policies in order to bring together a whole country. let me ask you a personal question, you have four young children, you know what is happening in your country today, i mean, one of the most high—profile opposition leaders, leopoldo lopez, after the last round of mass demonstrations, he was convicted of incitement, he has got 1a years in a military prison. you have been attacked
with a metal pipe. you have been beaten up. in the last month, you have been tear—gassed, it's very probable, given what maduro has said about you personally in recent days, you're going to end up in prison, too, perhaps in military prison, for many years, are you ready for that? well, i am ready forfighting, i am ready for what we believe in venezuela. we are ready for fighting for the values that make democracy strong, splendid and great for venezuela. all of us take the risk — yesterday, two young people died, and they were not ready for that — but we are being positive, we believe that all venezuelans know, all venezuelans are very aware that we are fighting for something that we have to do, we need to do everything we can in order to create a country for all of us. we have to fight with that in mind. one thing on which you and maduro would agree, you have talked
about the need for inclusivity. maduro in recent days has said, we need to get a dialogue going, he has the idea of a constituent assembly, to develop a new constitutional framework for venezuela and he wants you and the opposition tojoin the dialogue. are you prepared to do that? you have kept saying no in the recent past. you know that this proposal of maduro is a real fraud, because it will not be a constitution, it will not be elected by the people, it will be something like the congress of mussolini, where the people were appointed by sectors and not directly by the people, so it is a real fraud, it is a copycat for cuba. 0k, well, julio borges, we have to end there, but thank you very much forjoining me on hardtalk. hello there. well, the rain arrived earlier than forecast across the south—east of england during thursday
afternoon and it's continued to move slowly northwards. but brought a very wet night for the south—east of england, east anglia, the east midlands, and getting in towards the north—east of england by the time we reach friday morning. further west, though, it's clearer skies. any showers died away. and a touch of frost in one or two places. but less cold in the south—east because of cloud cover. so, first thing friday, then, it's a lovely bright start in many northern and western areas. showers never too far away, though, for the north and west and outer hebrides, but an area of low pressure. but the bulk of scotland and northern ireland will be bright. a chilly start, but bright. lots of sunshine. same too as well for the far north—west of england and wales and the far south—west of england. maybe just one or two showers pushing in towards cornwall and the west of devon. but further east, midlands eastwards, a cloudy start. damp, outbreaks of rain, especially for east anglia
and lincolnshire up in the north—east. and notice this area of low pressure slowly sliding north along the coast. you can see the isobars are tighter packed here. quite a breeze in norfolk and lincolnshire. that area of low pressure comtinues to move northwards. elsewhere, a day of sunshine and showers and gradually drying up across the south—east towards the end of the day. top temperatures, around the mid—teens. so nothing too special. quite cool in the north—east with low cloud, mist and harr. into saturday, it looks like conditions will improve. elsewhere, a bit of sunshine and showers. some of the showers could be heavy and maybe thundery in places. in the sunshine, pleasantly warm. cooler when showers arrive. temperatures in the mid—to—upper teens celsius. and the reason for the conditions are settling down and improving even
further into sunday, this area of high pressure exerts its force across the country. importing wind from the south. always a warmer direction, particularly for this time of year. going north as it does around this time of the year. it will allow temperatures to rise. in the sunshine it will feel warm. especially in the south. a bit of cloud, breeze, rain, getting into northern ireland because of this area of low pressure edging in. but it will affect north—western parts of the uk as head on in towards monday. so, here, breezy, outbreaks of rain towards western scotland in particular. but the bulk of england and wales closer to the area of high pressure, a warm day, with temperatures potentially the low—to—mid 20s celsius. into tuesday, winds swinging from the west, feeding in plenty a cool day. pleasant in the south—east with some sunshine. welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. i'm mike embley. our top stories: president trump lashes out at the decision to appoint a special counsel to investigate russian influence on his election.
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